In what’s got to be the worst kept secret in the beauty industry since the whispers about Tom Ford’s beauty line, here’s the official word. Yep, Chanel’s Pro Lumiere is being discontinued and in its place on January 13th 2012 will arrive 16 shades of Perfection Lumiere, €44, the latest, greatest foundation offering.
One’s in the post to me as I type, so you’ll hear what we think of it before it lands on counters, and I caught up with makeup artist Christine Lucignano, a stalwart supporter of Chanel’s products in her editorial, bridal and fashion work. What’s the dealio Christine, and why has Chanel removed a product that was beloved of so many?
“Yes, the Pro Lumiere fans aren’t happy,” she says. “The long and the short of it is that Peter [Philips, the brand's global creative director for makeup] felt that Pro Lumiere, while fabulous, could be improved with the latest technology offerings.”
The 16 shades for Ireland and the UK; a mix of pink and yellow-toned, fair and dark shades will be on offer. Finally one to suit all?
Those include the biggest shade spectrum the brand has ever created (23 in total globally and each market gets a pick of that to suit local skintones) plus special polymers and hemispherical powders, some of which are semi-sheer for luminosity, while others are coated with a mineral pigment for a blurred effect. The result is, the brand says, a foundation for all skin types with a long-wear, comfortable, demi-matte finish.
From a makeup artist and real gal point of view, what’s this got going for it that Pro Lumiere didn’t? “The main differences between Pro Lumiere and Perfection Lumiere is the staying power and believability,” Christine reveals. “In other words the skin looks more “real” and not borrowed from a bottle of foundation,” she explains.
“The skin looks so perfect in fact that one will want to be careful to use very sparingly or you will block out all of your tell tale signs of age and environmental damage. In other words, use a small amount, starting at the center of the face. Staying power is the second difference. This foundation will carry you through your entire work day and then some! Pro Lumiere had about a six hour wear time before it started to slightly degrade. This baby won’t do that before at least 10-to-12 hours and the laboratory says up to 15 hours!”
Big claims – and a lot of brands are releasing precisely this sort of product right now, a new-generation demi-matte with a long-wear claim that’s comfortable on the skin, and which they say all skintypes can use. It’s a big boast and one I’m not sure any brand has yet achieved.
Avon will launch Ideal Flawless in February and Lancome will showcase its new Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour foundation that month too. Mac’s recent Matchmaster and Diorskin Forever fit into the new breed of one-size-fits-all base, and it remains to be seen how well Pro Lumiere fans take to Perfection Lumiere, which on paper, sounds markedly different. Certainly Christine, a woman who very definitely knows her products, is convinced by its quality.
She’s got another recommendation for it too, and it’s one brides will be interested in. The thorny issue of camera flashes. “My boss is always the camera and the camera loves it,” enthuses Christine. “I used it to shoot for Marie Claire, Glamour and Mademoiselle South Africa as a special focus and I was blown away by the camera’s reaction to it.”